Friday, February 16, 2007

Mix n' Match

This past trip to the library, I checked out two 2007-2008 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees. One was more at my kids' level: George Crum and the Saratoga Chip about the invention of the potato chip, and we enjoyed it, but the other, Bella at Midnight ,was for kids a little older, and I thought it was
wonderful. It's a fairytale told in about fifteen different POV's, all of them first person. It was so simply written, with such a fresh, unique idea that I was enthralled. Plus, despite having 278 pages, the margins were wide--lots of white space--so it only took me a few days to finish it. (Still not impressive, but that's all I can manage right now). When I was in fifth grade I had to read the entire list of Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees, and I loved it. Maybe it's time to try that again...

On a completely different topic... A new author recently told me that she's gotten the general impression that while chick-lit is a hard sell, anything light is also tough...romantic comedy, light paranormal, light Regency, etc. When did this happen? And why is it happening? Did readers suddenly shift their tastes en masse to dark, suspenseful, deep, emotional themes? What about the crazy popularity of Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Janice Davidson, and others? It doesn't seem as if the marketplace is flooded. I don't know...I guess I'm just bummed at that perspective. I don't think I'll ever manage to write dark. Maybe the tide will turn...

Oh, and if you've read a good book lately and are willing to post a review today, hop over and Debut a Debut. Great idea, great prizes!

6 comments:

Catherine Avril Morris said...

My agent has been having a hell of a time selling my stuff, and yes, of course, that could be because it's just not good enough; but she says it's harder than ever right now to sell light contemporary romance.

Jenny Crusie is my idol and mentor-from-afar. I'd love to be her when I grow up, or at least make my readers laugh and feel smart and cued in the way she does. So that's what I mean when I describe my stuff as "light contemporary romance." I'm bummed about the whole "trend" too (I put it in quotes because I believe it's a trend the publishers came up with, not the readers). You're right--readers still love so many great writers who don't write dark.

I think like everything else, it's gonna come back. We just have to wait. In the meantime...argh.

Christine said...

I have a light paranormal that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it for that very reason. Every publisher I check out wants dark things, or else 120,000 words long. I don't write that much and this particular story doesn't need the length. It's very dissapointing.

Stacy said...

That book sounds great.

Hmm, dark is in. I guess there's hope for me. My current work-in-progress isn't dark but most of what I write is.

Katkat said...

I will have to check out that book.
I'm not sure why sales would be down on chicklit, I mean I buy at least 5 a month lol
And thanks for the contest link looks like fun. I swear I will finsh your book and right a review, I really like it so far and I like Emily alot.

alisonwonderland said...

thanks for the recommendation of Bella at Midnight. i will put it on the "to read" list for my daughters and me!

happy friday!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Catherine: Jenny Crusie is my idol too--LOVE her!

Kat-kat: You are so sweet! So glad you're enjoying it!